Climate finance, carbon markets conference set for next week

Staff Writer

The Africa Voluntary Carbon Credits Market Forum will host a two-day conference in Bulawayo next week focusing on unlocking the potential of climate finance for sustainable development.

The conference, titled ‘Climate Change, Carbon Markets and Sustainability’, to be held from July 17 to 18, 2024, aims to raise awareness on critical issues related to climate action in Zimbabwe.

“The Conference seeks among other issues to raise awareness on climate finance, and stimulate local level actions for tapping into the climate finance while shaping the policy discourse to enable the process of promulgation of the Climate Change Management Bill to be people-centric, market responsible and progressive enough to stimulate win-win outcomes to trigger the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals and the realisation of Zimbabwe Vision 2030,” the event organisers said.

The conference comes as Zimbabwe has been impacted by an El Niño-induced drought which has negatively weighed on agricultural production and productivity.

El Niño, a cyclical warming of the Pacific Ocean, disrupts global weather patterns, leading to erratic rainfall and scorching temperatures in Southern Africa, including Zimbabwe.

This year, the phenomenon has resulted in significantly reduced precipitation, threatening agricultural production – the lifeblood of the Zimbabwean economy.

The country declared a state of disaster as it experienced failed harvests with well below average yield outcomes attributed to the cessation of seasonal rains combined with dry and hot conditions.

Despite being a signatory to the Paris Agreement, Zimbabwe struggles due to restricted access to funding.

Zimbabwe has a climate-financing gap of about US$500 million annually, which has impacted its ability to build climate resilience according to the African Development Bank.

The impacts of climate change in Zimbabwe are now visible in all socio-economic sectors through the effects of droughts, prolonged dry spells, intense tropical storms and other extreme weather events.

The government approved the Climate Change Management Bill to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, facilitate low-carbon development technologies and carbon trading as well as measures to reduce the use of ozone-depleting substances.

The Africa Voluntary Carbon Credits Market Forum said signing of the Paris Agreement opened an opportunity for developing countries to access climate finance through which they can fund their coping, resilience, mitigation and adaptation programs to ameliorate the impact of climate change and stimulate sustainable development.

It said through Articles 6.2 and 6.4 of the Paris Agreement, Zimbabwe stands to access funding under the Internationally Transferable Mitigation Outcomes and use these funds to build capacities of the affected communities.

The two–day conference will be attended and addressed by several key government ministries that include the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Wildlife, the Ministry of Energy and Power, Development, the Ministry of Lands Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce as well as the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion.

The event will be held under the theme Unpacking and Unlocking Zimbabwe’s Potential in the Climate Economy: Driving the Global Sustainability Agenda to Build Climate Resilience.

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